Women’s World Cup: South Africa seals a thrilling victory over New Zealand and moves closer to semi-final spot

South Africa put in a great all-around performance to extend their 2022 Women’s World Cup winning streak to four games, with a thrilling win in the final game against hosts New Zealand in Hamilton on Thursday. South Africa sit 2nd on the 8-team points table with 8 points, level on points with leaders Australia, who are also unbeaten in the tournament.

South Africa successfully chased 229 runs, but it took a nerveless batting effort from Marizanne Kapp, who hit an unbeaten 34 of 35 balls. The Proteas women cruised on target at 161/2 after Laura Wolvaardt hit 67 and 50 from captain Sune Luus.

However, South Africa slipped to 170/5 after losing both set bats.

But it was veteran Kapp, who won 2-44 during the New Zealand innings, who had to steer her team in an increasingly nervous chase home.

“I think these games have to stop now, I’m tired,” said the 32-year-old Kapp. “Again it was a team effort, again we weren’t at our best, but I think the perfect game is just around the corner.

“I’m always nervous, I won’t lie. (Wolvaardt and Luus) hit well today but you can’t get too relaxed because as you’ve seen the game can change like that. Luckily we walked away with the win today and I’m happy to be on the winning side.”

KAPP STEP UP

South Africa needed 72 to win from 95 balls when Wolvaardt fell for 67 after their third straight half century at the tournament. It took 59 balls from 59 as Luus was out for 51 with five wickets still intact in the 41st over.

South Africa have gone 39 runs from their last six overs with five wickets in hand, 31 from their last five.

Chloe Tryon made 14 balls from 17 and started to play a useful hand, but she was out when South Africa needed 31 balls from 29.

Kapp hit back-to-back fours out of Lea Tahuhu’s bowling in the 47th over, tipping the match a bit in South Africa’s favor, leaving them with 18 runs to score from 21 balls.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand captain Sophie Devine made 93 to set the stage for her team’s batting effort. She was eliminated in the 41st over as New Zealand were in good shape at 198-5 but saw her team lose their last five wickets for 30 runs. (With AP inputs)

SHORT RESULTS

South Africa (229/8 in 49.3 overs) Wolvaardt (67), Luus (51); Amelia (3/50) def. New Zealand (228 – all in 47.5 overs) Devine (93); Ismail (03/27), Khaka (03/31) with 2 gates.

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